Afternoon News Bytes: March 7, 2012

By the Web Editors 3-07-2012

THINK PROGRESS: Extreme Poverty In The U.S. Has Doubled In The Last 15 Years
According to the latest Census Bureau data, nearly 50 percent of Americans are either low-income or living in poverty in the wake of the Great Recession. And a new study from the National Poverty Center shows just how deep in poverty some of those people are, finding that the number of households living on less than $2 per day (before government benefits) has more than doubled in the last 15 years.
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CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Veteran Poverty By The Numbers
With the end of the war in Iraq and the involvement in Afghanistan winding down, the United States can expect to see about 100,000 veterans return home. Many will need help and support from safety net programs or job training to transition to civilian life, but that help isn’t guaranteed to be there.
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BBC: UN Humanitarian Chief Arrives In Damascus
The UN's humanitarian chief has arrived in Syria to urge the government to allow aid access to its battle-scarred cities. Valerie Amos met the Syrian foreign minister in Damascus and is now on her way to the violence-hit city of Homs.
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NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER: A Curious Exit Poll You Might Have Missed Last Week
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Romney won 44 percent of Catholics in Michigan, compared to 37 percent for Santorum. In Arizona, the gap was even wider: Romney won 44 percent to Santorum's 34 percent among Catholic Republicans.
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THE NATION: Something New Is Happening In Greece
Caught between austerity and default, Greece remains in a highly fragile and difficult position. But out of the country's chaos, "a tremendous outbreak of solidarity" has been born, says Nation correspondent Maria Margaronis in this episode of Nation Conversations with Roane Carey. Listen to the podcast to learn more about the initiatives Greeks are taking to help each other as well as the political shifts sparked by the crisis.
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SALON: Rush Limbaugh And The Poisoning Of The GOP Brand
Sponsors are still bailing on Rush Limbaugh, who is apparently uninterested in expanding his very limited apology to Sandra Fluke, the woman he called a “slut” on his radio show last week. Limbaugh still seems unlikely to lose his show over this, and the controversy may even rally his core audience around him. But in the broader court of public opinion, the past week has undoubtedly served to worsen his already serious image problem.
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THE ATLANTIC: We're Underestimating The Risk Of Human Extinction
Unthinkable as it may be, humanity, every last person, could someday be wiped from the face of the Earth. We have learned to worry about asteroids and supervolcanoes, but the more-likely scenario, according to Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at Oxford, is that we humans will destroy ourselves.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: New Atheists Promote Bible Study?
You know we're living in an odd world when prominent atheists encourage people to read scripture. More than 50,000 viewers each day sample atheist science blogger PZ Myers' posts on Pharyngula. "There's no surer way to make an atheist than to get someone to actually read the Bible," says Myers. Here is why.
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THINK PROGRESS: More Than Two Dozen Vermont Communities Vote To End Corporate Personhood
Vermont’s communities join a quickly growing list of cities across the country that have taken up the issue of corporate personhood. Smaller cities like Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Maine joined the nation’s two biggest—New York and Los Angeles—in introducing measures designed to push back against the Citizens United ruling.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Won't Ease Gas Prices; Senate Must Reject It (OPINION)
This week the Senate is likely to vote on an amendment that would force approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama already rejected the dirty tar sands pipeline because it needed a more thorough safety and environmental review.
Learn more HERE

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"Afternoon News Bytes: March 7, 2012"
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